The emotion of covering Italy’s quake

April 10, 2009

Davide Elias is a regular contributor to Your View and in the following blog recounts his experience covering the devastating earthquake in L’Aquila.

Early on April 6, the town of L’Aquila, central Italy, was struck by a strong earthquake. My home town, Brescia, is about 600km (375 miles) from L’Aquila. I wanted to travel to the quake zone to take some pictures. I headed to the area the next evening, taking with me two cameras and two lenses (a 10-20 mm and a 70-200mm). I left my 400mm lens at home.

I arrived in L’Aquila at 6am and discovered a brutal catastrophe. A small town, Onna, was completely destroyed. During my stay I discovered how difficult it is to take candid photos as each situation can overwhelm you emotionally. There were so many emotional moments — when I found a dog alone, when I saw a woman crying, when I watched a mother kiss her son in a tent camp.

There were also tense moments, like when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi visited the area. There was a strong police presence and often they made covering the event difficult. Taking pictures in L’Aquila was dangerous (as the town suffered so much damage) that just walking in the streets you run the risk of something falling on you.

Covering the earthquake has helped my photography and was an experience that has enhanced my photographic career. In catastrophes we can improve our ability to capture heartfelt moments.

View this week’s Your View showcase here.


Thank you for sharing your experiences in L’Aquila.
With your work we can be able to see the persons there and the unfortunate destruccion and death.
Your views really impacted and make be involved and feel the natural Solidarity for those who now are suffering. Thank you for let us become involved like you are.

Posted by Maria | Report as abusive

thank you Maria !!!
the hope cannot die…
i hope rescue workers can find other survivor,,,
thanks again Davide


I’m happy the Italian earthquake give the opportunity to enhance you career, your photographic success it’s what matter the most.

Posted by Fulvia | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see